YMMV: Paper Mario 64

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: This game introduced the idea that Bowser has a romantic interest in Princess Peach, a concept that would become a staple of the Paper Mario series. Bowser is also more immature in this game than in previous incarnations, producing the Franchise Original Sin for Bowser's Villain Decay.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Even though you have eight party members, it is easy to just stick with Goombario most of the time, since he will tell you interesting info about every area and person, reveal the health of enemies, and his basic attack is one point stronger than everyone but Bow. If you equip Quick Change, it is even easier, since you can just retrieve a party member that can defeat an enemy that Goombario cannot, and switch him back afterward.
    • Watt's basic attack ignores enemies' defense, which is really useful against later bosses. She can also attack flying enemies, but does not jump on them, avoiding damage from spiked enemies. In the field, she also reveals hidden item blocks.
    • The only thing nearly anyone ever levels up is the Badge Points stat (BP) to get access to as many badges as possible. An NPC can be paid to relocate the extra 5 HP you start with (you start with 10) to BP so that Mario is permanently in the Danger state and can always reap the rewards of many badges that take effect in this state. These badges do things like increase Mario's attack and defence, and even make enemies miss sometimes, and they stack, so you make Mario able to do tons of damage and take absolutely none, effectively turning on god mode. This is known as the "Danger Mario" build.
  • Demonic Spiders
    • The Anti Guy with its 50 HP and 10 Attack will slaughter any player that doesn't level up extensively through grinding. If you fail the Quiz portion of Bowser's Castle, you'll have to fight three Anti Guys at once. Unless you're cheating, overpowered or stocked up on items specifically for them, you should reset the game and save yourself from a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • The Dark Koopas are very annoying to fight as well, since they have a move that can put Mario into Dizzy-state, making him completely useless for two turns. The problem here is that, more often than not, you fight against multiple Dark Koopas at the same time, and they all like to use that Dizzyfying move on him, giving him absolutely no chance of recovering from it. If you're out of BP when that happens, you might as well reload from your last saved point.
    • Hammer Bros. in Bowser's Castle. They have a whopping 12 HP, won't flip over like other shelled enemies, and their hammer throws have the possibility of making Mario shrink, cutting his attack power by half. It gets worse when their HP drops below four and can throw a flurry of hammers at him. Their annoyance is even Lampshaded by Goombario.
  • Game Breaker:
    • The Mystery item is a minor one. In battle, it takes the effect of a random item, from a healing Mushroom, to a powerful Thunder Bolt, to a rock that damages Mario. Not so great unless you're in the Random Number God's good graces. Its real value, however, comes from Item Crafting. By giving them over to Tayce T. to cook, you can potentially obtain any craftable item in the game, including ones you're not supposed to get until much later. Most of the time, however, you'll get a Mistake (a Joke Item that only restores 1HP and 1FP apiece), but even that can be utilized by selling them at Boo's Manor for five coins. Conveniently, Boo's Manor sells Mysteries for only 1 coin, giving you a 4 coin profit even in the worst case scenario.
    • A powerful game breaker that carries over into the sequel is Power Bounce. Power Bounce allows Mario to attack an indefinite amount of times (though usually 6-9) using his jump. By itself the attack is merely useful, allowing you to easily do a good 10 damage in a single turn. The real strength of the badge comes through in combination with attack boosters and Jump Charge. Power Bounce's strength increases dramatically with each extra attack point Mario has. Getting all the possible attack boosting badges, Spike Shield, and making use of Jump Charge or Super Jump Charge can let you destroy every single enemy in the game including Bowser or The Master within a few turns. This is made more potent by the fact that it's possible to get Jump Charge by Chapter 2, and both Attack Plus badges during Chapter 4, with All Or Nothing not long afterwards.
    • Money can be easily acquired in absurd amounts early on with the combination of Pay-Off and Money Money. Payoff increases the amount of Money earned in proportion to how much damage you took, while Money Money doubles the amount of coins earned. Combining the two together lets you get hundreds of coins per chapter and potentially even buy out Rowf's badge shop after every chapter. Pay-Off is available almost immediately, and Money Money can be acquired by the start of Chapter 3 with vigorous Star Piece hunting. The only snag is balancing your health out, though even then a skilled or well-prepared player can heal or conserve damage to counteract the risks.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The game opens with Bowser taping a picture of Kammy Koopa into the story book, who then proceeds to wreck the plot. A later Mario & Luigi game involves Luigi knocking over the same book, causing it's contents to spill out and cause problems in the wider world.
  • Goddamned Bats: Fuzzies, who absorb Mario's HP with every bite and, in the case of the jungle ones, have to be pulled off with quicktime events. Fortunately, the Zap Tap badge hard-counters them, ensuring that they can't even hurt Mario and take damage whenever they try.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Boos who terrorized Tubba Blubba before he gained his powers. However, while Bow admits she's not sorry, she promises that they'll leave him alone after Mario defeats him.
  • Memetic Mutation: Four words: Teenage Mutant Ninja Koopas.
  • That One Attack: While the Final Boss (Bowser, obviously) isn't overwhelming, he will occasionally use the Star Rod to A) hit both you or your partner (KOing them for three turns) and debuffing both or B) Restore 30 HP.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Lakilester and Sushi are probably two of the most underused party members due to their rather middle-of-the-road skillsets, particularly for the point that they're acquired in the story, being the last two party members earned. Sushi sees some use in Chapter 5 due to her water skills being effective against the Fire enemies there, but falls out of favor due to the difficult action commands her higher-powered attacks require. Lakilester has the unfortunate fate of being badly Overshadowed by Awesome, lacking the attack power to make himself an offensive asset while also having a mediocre defensive skill. Parakarry and Watt both have moves with the same effect as either of his attacks, and Cloud Nine is much less reliable compared to defense boosts
  • What an Idiot: A few times. Bombette and the Bob-Ombs in chapter one are trapped in a cage. Said cage has a cracked wall Bombette can easily destroy. She does this immediately after joining you and claims she just didn't think to do it before. Then of course there's Jr. Troopa, who swims between Toad Town and Lavalava Island to chase Mario, and back again. He forgets that he can fly, making him a much easier opponent.